My Gratitude Journal

High Tea at Madeline Garden Bistro in Pasadena

It’s way-back Wednesday! I’ve been doing some reminiscing about good times spent in the past. I remember the time my best friend from high school and I went to Madeline Garden Bistro in Pasadena for high tea.

We had a favorite tea house that we would frequent often since early 2000. We celebrated many birthdays, bridal and baby showers there. It was called the Gilded Rose Manor and it was located in Granada Hills, CA. When it closed down, we started another tradition of trying out different tea houses for our birthdays. It’s just how we like to celebrate!

Going way back to 2017, my friend and I went to Madeline Garden Bistro in Pasadena to celebrate our birthdays. It is located at 1030 E Green St., Pasadena, CA, 91106. This restaurant has a very European feel to it because of it’s French Italian style décor, cuisine and atmosphere. They serve a champagne brunch, high tea or dinner. They also serve tapas.

We ordered the high tea and it was very different than the usual tea sandwiches,  scones and dessert. This tea offered a soup or salad, a hot tier, a cold tier, scones and dessert.

For my tea, I ordered Earl Grey. That was unusual for me because I usually like to order teas that I haven’t tried before and that have an unusual combination. I still enjoyed it and as usual, I added milk and sugar to my tea. Delicious.

The first course came out and it was the scones with clotted cream and apricot jam.  We’re used to getting that as our second course, so we ended up saving that for later. The second course came out and it was our soup and salad. I chose the tomato soup and my friend chose the ginger butternut squash yam soup.

You say tomato, I say tomato…soup

There are three choices for high tea. There is the Princess Madeline which includes 7 hors d’oeuvre & 2 sweets ($36). There is the Prince Charming which includes 6 hors d’oeuvre & 2 sweets ($33). Lastly, there is the Royal Tier which includes 8 hors d’oeuvre & 3 sweets ($53).  We chose the Royal Tier.

There were two tiers for the hors d’oeuvre. The first tier was a hot tier which included steak, potatoes au gratin, a hot crab salad and shrimp.

the hot tier

We started on the hot tier. The next tier was the cold tier.

so cold

This tier included the tea sandwiches which were a salmon and butter tea sandwich and a cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwich. There was also a caprese salad skewer and a shrimp cocktail. 

Since we saved our scone for later,  we decided it was time to eat it once we finished our hot and cold tiers. The waiter said it was a Christmas scone so it had pieces of dried fruit in it, like a Christmas fruitcake.  It was pretty good.

The dessert tier was next. It was very elegant. It had creme brulee, a macaroon and a chocolate brownie with frosting and peppermint sprinkles on top.

I really enjoyed this experience. I liked the European décor. Our table was set nicely. We sat on elegant couches with cute fluffy pillows. On this day, there was a guitarist playing music in the background. They have very good service and are very friendly and accommodating.  Our Royal Tier afternoon tea came with champagne but our waiter forgot to give it to us. They apologized and gave us a discount on our bill. I think it would have been fun to drink champagne with a high tea. I will try that next time.

I can’t wait to go back to Madeline Garden Bistro. It was a fun experience for afternoon tea. Until then, pinkies up!

Today I am grateful for afternoon tea traditions, birthday celebrations, feeling bougie while sitting on tres chic chairs with fluffy pillows while eating expensive food that still leave you feeling hungry, champagne with afternoon tea, getting a discount on champagne that you weren’t served with your afternoon tea, planning a future champagne and afternoon tea, obsessing on champagne served with afternoon tea, and new experiences and adventures shared and planned with my best friend from high school.

My Gratitude Journal

Chado Tea Room in Pasadena

My friend and I visited the Chado Tea Room in PasadenaWe have been to many tea rooms through the years. It’s one of our favorite things to do!

The Chado Tea Room in Pasadena is located at 79 N. Raymond. They are open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We made reservations before hand, which is highly recommended as it  seems to be a popular spot and it gets very busy.

A Groupon for chocolate and tea tasting brought us in. But we were also hungry for lunch so we ordered food. They offer soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts. They also offer vegetarian choices. I chose the Punjab sandwich which consists of eggs marinated in their lapsang souchong smoked tea then combined with mayonnaise and green onions. The bread was toasted and the crusts were cut off. It was super delicious. I also ordered a tomato basil soup, which was also vegetarian. My friend ordered the afternoon tea. It came with four half sandwiches (four different kinds), one scone with homemade cream and fresh fruit, and a dessert. It was presented on a three tier rack. And of course, it also included a pot of tea.

We were told that they have about 400 teas. The tea menu was a book. I mean, really, it was a book. I chose a chai tea called Brendan’s Chai which is an Assam Black tea blended with ginger, cinnamon, lemon grass. It was creamy, rich and delicious.

The service was great! Our waiter was very knowledgable about the teas and attentive. Before our chocolates and teas came out, our waiter brought out a strawberry display tea. A display tea is just that…a display tea… although you can drink it too. You watch your tea flower bloom while it is steeping. A wonderful 5 minute show. Tea leaves that were bunched together in a little ball were placed in a glass tea kettle with hot water. The leaves unfurl to create a flower creation.

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Lovely unfurling…

Then our teas and chocolates came out. We were offered three more teas in addition to the display tea. The teas are meant to be paired with the chocolates. We tried a chai tea, a green tea and a pomegranate tea. The pomegranate tea was my favorite. It really brought out the taste of the chocolate.

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Chocolate? yes…..

They also have beautiful tea cups, tea pots and delicious tea leaves, including blooming teas in tins for sale. It’s a very relaxing environment. I suggest that if you make a visit there, that you plan two hours of your time so that you can relax and unwind. 

You can valet park, park in public parking with the first 90 minutes free or you can park at the meters. That’s what I did. 2 hours of metered parking cost a total of $2.50.

The Chado Tea Room was a great place to visit. We plan to go again. Sandwiches, chocolates and tea? Can’t go wrong with that combination.

Today I am grateful for traditions with friends and afternoon tea with my friend, Marylisa